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How to Adjust Screen Resolution

screen resolution

All computer displays come with a default screen resolution that determines how much detail and sharpness are put into images, texts and everything else that appear on screen. To some people, this default setting may render visuals as either too big or small. Luckily, most modern operating systems allow adjusting the screen resolution. Here’s how you can change your resolution on both Windows and Mac. 


Right-click on any area on the desktop and select Screen resolution in the context menu. Click the Resolution drop-down menu and use the slider to select a resolution. One particular resolution may be marked as recommended, because this is the default or native resolution of the display. Click Apply and select OK or Keep changes to accept the new screen resolution; otherwise the display reverts to using the previous resolution.

Mac OS X

Click the Apple menu (the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen) and select System Preferences. Click the Displays panel and click the Display tab. Select your preferred screen resolution in the Resolutions list box. The screen automatically adjusts to the selected resolution.

Not all programs follow the screen resolution you set by following the steps above. For instance, video games have their own settings on which you might need to readjust the screen resolution again. Also take the computer’s performance into account when changing screen resolutions. A higher resolution tends to place more strain on the graphics card.

Another thing to keep in mind: the native resolution of the display is not necessarily the best choice. You should choose a resolution that feels comfortable to your eyes, especially if you’re planning to use your computer for hours on end. If you choose a lower resolution, everything becomes big and pixelated. Texts and images become sharper instead if you choose a higher resolution, but they’re smaller as well.

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